Sunday, January 18, 2015
Friday, January 02, 2015
This is my New Year's Eve gown. I was rather pleased with how it turned out, especially since I didn't cut it out until about 3pm on the 30th. It was all done but the hem by about 9:30.
This is good old Vogue 1250 lengthened and with a baby train. Very similar to a tan knit gown I made and have loved. This is however, the first time I've worked with a sequined fabric. Nancy and Sharon found this for me in Santa Fe and insisted that it was 'me'. It was also a fantastic bargain, and I was an easy sell.
I think I was very lucky in the construction of the fabric itself, as it's a 2-way stretch knit (widthwise, which is the usual), and I didn't have a lot of trouble with sequins coming loose when I cut the fabric. A lot of the information I read talked about taping the cut edges, etc., and I was really hoping I wouldn't have to do that. I did end up doing almost all of the sewing by hand, with a backstitch. The end result was much more attractive that way. The way the sequins were applied, they 'lined up', and I could sew between them, and then pull them out onto the face of the fabric from the allowances where I needed to. The holes in the sequins were very near one edge, and so if you happened to stitch through one, or close it into the allowance when it really needed to be on the right side, you'd have a fairly large gap. You can see that the face is not perfectly even, and so a little variation isn't noticeable, but I didn't want 'bald' seams.
One 'exciting' revelation (to me anyway) was how very uncomfortable sitting in such a gown can be. I think this is a fabric which is made for standing and just looking decorative. It's also kind of 'noisy' when you walk. It's not so heavy when you're wearing it, but there's noticeable weight when you handle it, or put it on or take it off. I would caution others with a similar plan to watch out. I kept shoving sequins under a fingernail when I was trying it on, and I actually bled. Very painful, too.
You can't see much of the train, but there isn't much of a train, really. That's why it's a baby train. The top photo especially has the skirt in a strange position at the hem. It really does hang nicely though, and I think you can see it better in the back view. It reads mostly as a column, which is my kind of thing anyway. The 'train' is just a little extra fun, swishiness.
I wore this for a New Year's Eve party, and will wear it again Saturday for another. I'm sure it will be a handy thing to be able to pull out of my wardrobe. The color, a very dark navy which sometimes seems to aim toward purple and sometimes toward gunmetal, will be appropriate for any number of occasions, I think.
Wednesday, December 31, 2014
Wednesday, August 13, 2014
I've already told you that I attended and taught at the ASG Convention in St Louis, but I never really got to say a lot about it. My last class was Sunday morning until noon, then we packed all my Marfy garments and everything else in the car and drove straight home to Lincoln, Nebraska. I was home for a whole 9 hours before I left to get on a plane for a week in Sacramento, California attending the Mu Phi Epsilon Triennial Convention. That's my music fraternity and we had a wonderful time, but nothing sewing related, except I did get to wear things that I used for display in St Louis, so packing was a lot easier at least.
|Here's the back seat of my car with some of the Marfy garments I took for the Trunk Show/Class.|
It's fun to work with a crowd that's so interested in Marfy. As you probably already know, I have no connection with Marfy other than just being completely sold on their patterns. I find I get my best results using a Marfy pattern, and so that's almost all I've used for quite some time, although I'm not giving up my TNT patterns, of course. Some of them are Marfy too, though.
I was able to answer lots of questions and allay a lot of fears about using Marfy patterns. They are really so well made that there is little difficulty in making up your garments even without instructions. I think that the lack of instructions forces you to make choices based on your fabric, preferences and vision of the finished garment, and it forces you to think about it much sooner than you might if you just dove into a garment following the instructions until you suddenly realized you wished you had done something a little differently. And then it's either too late entirely, or you have to backtrack a lot.
I really enjoy doing this class and it can be expanded into a longer workshop or hands-on event, so if your guild or group wants a program, I am probably available. I've had many positive comments from those who've taken it.
Next I'll tell about my other class:
- Clever With Your Needle
Friday, July 25, 2014
Yes, I'm having a good time. Everyone has been so nice and as you would expect with fellow sewers, they are smart and funny and oh so talented. Today I taught my first class. It was the first section of the Marfy Class/Trunk Show. A big crowd, over 50 people, and we had a great time. I do it again on Sunday. Tomorrow (Saturday) is Clever With Your Needle, and the fashion show. Here are a couple photos of the rehearsal.
Tuesday, July 08, 2014
Monday, July 07, 2014
Sunday, July 06, 2014
|FSG#1960 Tropical Palms|
|FSG#1960 Tropical Palms Back|
|FSG#1960 Striped Neckline Binding|
You can see in the photo where the dress is laid flat, that the top part is quite long. The sash is a double width of fabric, doubled into a wide tube, wrapped around twice and tied. It covers the join totally. The dress is wearable without the sash, and may get worn that way when it's really, really hot out.
I knew I wanted something different for the binding on the neckline and sleeves and that's when I went looking and found the printed knit and decided a skirt would be really nice. You can see a closeup of the binding (I used my favorite No Fail Binding method) and the twin-needle hem.
|FSG#1960 Neck Binding|
|FSG#1960 Twin-Needle Hem|
|You can see the join in the print binding just to the left of the CenterBack seam. You may have to enlarge the photo to really see it well.|
|The binding join seam is more obvious in this photo of a bound neckline with a collar added above.|
This is a wonderful cotton twill from Santa Fe Fabrics and my trip with the Fiberlies in April. I fell in love with the bird print and knew it would be perfect in my favorite Marfy A-line sporty summer skirt, #093.
It's the skirt on the left in the pattern drawing below, without the belt carriers or patch pockets, and lengthened just over 5".
The pockets I have are kind of an inset apron pocket, copied from an Alice+Olivia skirt. I've made this skirt quite a few times, never have done the belt carriers, and although the original pockets are a little small in my opinion, I have used them at least once. I've done other patch pockets and this pocket several times.
|Inside Skirt Hem|
The rest of the skirt is quite simply done, with a faced waistband, interfaced of course and stitched through all layers at the darts and seams.
Centered back zipper with a hook at the top for security.
And of course a hand stitched hem for invisibility.
Elliott Berman Textiles.
I'm not usually a floral person unless it's large and somewhat abstract, and this was small/medium and very traditional. The style is traditional as well, a coat dress, but the zippers definitely update it. I did a lot of alteration, and ended up making a trial garment which I didn't hem but is otherwise finished, out of a heavy dark green knit. I adjusted the front waist size smaller and went on to begin anew with the neoprene.
I was pleasantly surprised to find that the fabric was a dream to sew. It's got body galore, and pretty much did whatever I wanted it to. No ravelling, no 'squirming' around, it just stayed put. It did require understitching on the collar and front edges. I used Pam's Pro-Tricot Fusible Interfacing on the collar and the lapel point areas, and that was all the interfacing it needed.
I ended up using the 7" zippers instead of flaps for the faux pockets. They worked perfectly.
However, the 22" zipper was too short to be both as high as I needed it at the neckline and as low as it needed to go on the skirt hem to make the dress really wearable. So, I took another zipper and installed it from the bottom up, stitching the lower one over the upper when I got to the join. It's not really noticeable when worn, especially with the somewhat busy fabric. I like to have it unzipped from the bottom for a few inches for walking ease.
The dress fits like a glove and is very comfortable, if also really, really warm to wear. It will be a great winter dress, although as soon as we were done with the photos, I knew I wouldn't be wearing these shoes with it.